2008-05-27-2018Z


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This was blogged piecemeal as I walked the race, so it will be somwhat disjointed despite my efforts to edit it into something cohesive...

An official of the race, before it started, told me that the organizers gave up on keeping the maps accurate this year, and that there are alterations to the route every race. I asked how then can one know the route as the rules require; he said you just have to find an official you trust and ask. Then one of the organizers said I wont be able to get into Crab Park without an armband, and of course I don't have one, not being a participant. I'll just have to keep getting power naps whenever possible. I've been doing that since leaving Chico.

There's a friendly little crippled skunk who lives near the Eureka gazebo. He limped to within a few feet of me Saturday night about 0430 as I was using the wifi outside the coffeehouse. He got a little frightened when I looked up, and started to raise his tail, but I talked soothingly to him and he continued walking around.

I was up all that night, looking for a place to sleep, with little luck. At daybreak the warmth enabled me to sleep sitting on a park bench, and I awoke just in time to grab a cup of coffee and head over to the boat launch. As soon as the Glory Hogs hit the water I headed towards the other end, grabbing another power nap along the way.

A couple of bicyclists came by with Ortlieb panniers. They're waterproof and easily detachible, might make a usable replacement for a knapsack.

The ace leader at the bay exit was Gossamer Slug at 150 pounds, with inflatable pontoons and detachible paddles. Nice clean engineering. I headed down the trail right behind him, though of course he left me behind pretty quickly.

A barricade shows a left turn not long after the water exit. Gotta watch for them; if I lose next year it'll likely be for spacing one of the markers.

Thinking as I walk along... maybe use a splined shaft for widening wheelbase and to separate left and right drives for steering. For freewheeling maybe use a dropdown 3rd front wheel.

in the marsh they don't even use barricades, just strips of orange plastic.

More ideas: maybe make the rear wheel just a small roller. And both the roller and front freewheel can fit a train track. And maybe a flywheel gyro for stability; hollow, it can hold water to give it the required weight and as hydration reserves. Dump the water for portaging.

The sculpture For Snail passed me at 12:41. Shortly after that I ducked into Mickey D's on highway 101 for two $1-special double cheeseburgers. As I left, the Glory Hogs were going through the drive-thru.

I should be able to braze the body out of aluminum flashing -- 4 waterproof pieces -- or use large-diameter PVC pipe. Wheels with nu-tech tires come apart to use also as skates. Hmm...

Lindsey from Bikin' Fools took me into his team, and towed me on my skates over the bridge into crab park. So I'm drinking microbrew and homebrew beer, eating sausage and fresh asparagus, and generally having a helluva time. Glad I didn't give up; I was offered rides into town a couple of times and was sorely tempted, thinking I wouldn't be allowed in. But, it appears, all things come to those who play.

Other ideas: dinosaur exoskeleton kinetic sculpture; HPV idea complete for each foot; prototype with 2 bikes side by side, waterfilled gyro counterweight; skate on one foot, the other shoe the same height as the skate to act as a brake... hmm, a "brake shoe".

After the bridge there's a doublewide shoulder for a ways but it's at a 5 degree angle or thereabouts; it would be nice to have an HPV that could handle that.

I crossed the finish line about 1:30, but didn't know it until later because it wasn't marked. Didn't matter anyway, the real racers were being held at the bridge for a photo opportunity. I had some pizza, and when the Bikin' Fools came in I let them tow me over the finish line on my skates.

Now I could hitch a ride, and did, to Fortuna. Found free wifi and power at Shotz.

The back of the iPod Touch makes an adequate shaving mirror. Camp mirrors sold at places like Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, and Long's Drugs are made of glass and unsuitable for backpacking. 2 single-edged razors will fit in a standard-sized dental floss container.

To get rid of an annoying error in the iPod Python package, cd to /usr/lib/python2.5 as root, then mkdir site; then touch site/__init__.py. I wrote a minimalist strings program since the bsdutils didn't include it.

How about a seesaw HPV as a Kinetic Sculpture? f In Fortuna the cops stared at me at least twice, and the security droog at Safeway was bitching about my wearing a "backpack" inside the store, saying how those "homeless people" fill their packs with store merchandise. Fortuna may be only a few miles from Arcata but culturally it seems decades behind. In Arcata, long-haired guys and knapsacks/backpacks are ubiquitous, and even though the car culture is still entrenched, there are enough bicyclists that nobody questions your bringing your things inside a store.

Humboldt is cold. Definitely need a gore-tex layer and something to warm arms and hands. Possibly a down jacket. A drysuit would be nice too. It also serves as a bivy bag.

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